For those of you that have been hiding under a bantha for the last 12 months, there is a little film due out on the 18th of Dec called STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS! In honour of that, today has been dubbed Force Friday – the day when all the new toys and merchandise for the film will be launched. Along with all the usual figures and awesome LEGO stuff, there are rather more interesting items out there. Here is our top 5 WANT list of things…
Considering BB-8 is a droid we currently know very little about, there is an awful lot of affection out there for him already! This version from Sphero is controllable using your phone either by direction controls in the accompanying app or using voice commands. They’ve also imbued him with a personality (of sorts) which changed based on how you interact with him. You can even record and view ‘holographic’ videos – that’s more impressive than it sounds, as they are virtual ‘holographic’ videos, meaning BB-8 doesn’t project them like R2 in A New Hope. You watch them via your phone… Even so, he’s so freaking adorable!
You know that Lego Millennium Falcon you REALLY wanted as a kid, but your parents wouldn’t fork out for it. Well it’s back in a new Force Awakens version, complete with square (not round) satellite dish! You might now be pushing 40 but £129.99 is a small price to pay for recapturing your youth! This version comes with Rey, Finn, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Tasu Leech and a Kanjiklub Gang Member, plus the aforementioned BB-8 Astromech Droid!
Millennium Falcon Flying Drone
LEGO not your thing (what sort of sick monster are you?!) Then why not buzz your neighbour’s laughably badly defended exhaust port with this new Millennium Falcon Flying Drone! Not due till October, but definitely on our WANT list.
Remote Controlled AT-AT
Sick of those pesky rebels getting all the glory? Why not fight for the Empire with this handy Remote control AT-AT!
Of course, no Star Wars toy list would be complete without a Lightsaber on it, and this is the new version they’ve come up with. Inspired by the new villain Kylo Ren’s broadsword style lightsaber, this give you the chance to build your own lightsaber in whatever shape you want to! Totally configurable boasting 100+ combinations.
As I eluded to in Geektown Radio a few weeks ago, I recently spent an evening in a galaxy far far away (otherwise know as a large warehouse in London), courtesy of the rebel scum at Secret Cinema. Last year they took people back in time with their Back To The Future extravaganza, but this year sees them take to the stars with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Your journey starts before you even get to event, with you being assigned a role and a character to play when you get there. I should say, if you are going to go, get dressed up. You don’t have to of course, and the night I went there were people who put in various levels of effort. However, I rather got the feeling the more effort you made, the more likely you are to get singled out in the interactive story playing out in front of you.
Once you’re arrive at the secret location, you’re thrown into the world of Star Wars and… well, I don’t want to say too much as to spoil it for people… But its fair to say, you get to visit some key locations, and meet some well know characters as you’re guided through an interactive story set in a universe we all know and love.
The pre-film sections are just brilliant fun. The ‘space’ split into 2 main locations, and whilst I enjoyed ‘location 2’, for me, ‘location 1’ was just phenomenally good. There’s a kind of lacklustre review in one of the national papers today about how the film “wasn’t of interest” to people and they preferred to hang around the bar… Well, of course you idiot, you’ve rather proved how you totally missed the point… We’ve seen the film hundreds of times! This is the one night you can actually STAND in one of the locations from the film! The actors are great throughout, from the ‘feature’ players to the stall owners and bar tenders (bring a credit/debit card, then don’t take ‘earth money’). No one broke character. They were also brilliant with the kids we had in our group.
Although you maybe mesmerised by the world, I would urge anyone going to go and watch the film when it starts. Make sure you keep your eyes open around the room whilst it plays out too. There’s plenty of time to hang out in the bar afterwards and party into the small hours… And what a bar to hang out in…
Look… I know it’s over £70, and some people are saying that is a lot to see a film… but if you’re a Star Wars fan, believe me, it’s not. It’s so SO much more than seeing a film. It’s an experience. It’s a Star Wars themed world where you can interact with the people. It’s a chance for you to stand somewhere you never thought you’d be able stand, on a world you’d never thought you’d be. You have to go to this event. Search your feelings… you know it to be true…
SECRET CINEMA Presents STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK runs now until 27th September 2015 www.secretcinema.org/tickets
10/10 – Feels like you’re in a galaxy far far away!
So… There’s this thing going on in London right now, and till the end of September… Which *they* have asked me to tell you about… I’m really not sure how much I’m supposed to say. I mean, they told me “Many Bothans died to bring us this video…”
And then there’s this poster which was smuggled to me…
But… They made me sign things… Things saying I couldn’t say anything. About anything… That I’d seen nothing. Or they’d drop me in the Sarlacc Pit… Not that I know what that is of course… Because I know nothing. Nope, not me… Nothing at all. Zip. Nada… *nervous laugh*
But they did say you needed to know… So I think I’ll be okay just give you the ‘official credit line’ which is ‘SECRET CINEMA Presents STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK runs 4th June until 27th September 2015 www.secretcinema.org/tickets‘
I think i’m okay doing that…
*shadowy figure emerges nearby*
Oh, my! I… I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t mean to… No, please don’t get up!
Over the next week the cities of London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle & Glasgow will be invaded by Daleks, Cybermen, and the (slightly less scary) BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Chorus of Wales, as Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Tour hits the UK. Celebrating the music of Who’s composer for the last 10 years, Mr. Murray Gold, the show is a musical trip through the last decade of the timelord, from Eccleston to Capaldi, and hosted by Doctor No 5. Peter Davidson.
Davidson, not in traditional cricket outfit (although the jacket does make an appearance), is an entertaining host, with various quips about needing to do a good job or he’ll be replace by Colin Baker, and how odd it is to have 10th Doctor David Tennant calls him ‘Dad’ (Tennant married Davidson’s daughter Georgia Moffett).
The show opens with a sequence of current Doctor Peter Capaldi on screen pulling various levers and turning dials in the TARDIS, whilst the orchestra, conducted by Who’s resident orchestrator Ben Foster, launch into the first of Murray’s themes, ‘A Good Man?’ The BBC National Orchestra of Wales are completely faultless in their performance, and the music and visuals draw you into the world of Who, immersing you in all things timelord.
Helping with that immersion, are the large array of monsters the Spectacular brings with it! From newer monsters like The Teller (5th eps, season 8), to the creepy Foretold (Mummy on the Orient Express) and The Silence, to classics like Cybermen, and of course, Daleks. The later of which take over the show, and wander (or rather roll) amongst the audience barking orders like only Daleks can!
A particular highlight for me arrived in act two with the epic and emotive Pandorica Suite which got an amazing reaction from the Birmingham fans.
Whether your a fan of the music, or just a fan of the tv show, there’s really something for people of all ages here. Along with being a great night out, it will remind you of how awesome the rebooted series has been, and have you reaching for your box sets or Netflix subscription to start watching the whole run again!
Thanks to the wonderful photographer Annie Leibovitz, and the folk over at Vanity Fair, we’ve now have an amazing new set of behind-the-scenes photos and video from the new Star Wars film – Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
First up is a decent look at Captain Phasma, as played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth). The new character is probably a villain in the new film as she’s part of the ‘First Order’ which are the new bad guys. Plus, no matter how shiny you make it, that’s still a Stormtrooper outfit, and as a general rule, they aren’t usually all that good.
Next is The hot-shot rebel X-wing pilot Poe Dameron as played by Oscar Isaac. Described as “the best fricken pilot in the galaxy…” I’m sure a certain Mr. Solo may take umbrage with that remark… 😉
This one show’s the guys at ILM employing some of the same face capturing techniques that were used on Avatar to track the facial movements of 50 Years A Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o, as her performance is captured to bring life to the pirate Maz Kanata.
Here we have a rather nifty group shot showing some of the various ne’er-do-wells and dodgy characters hanging around Maz Kanata’s castle (because this is Star Wars, and if you’re a space pirate, of course you have a castle!)…
First shot of Adam Driver without the mask as Kylo Ren (booo hisss), the new bad guy. Also a good look at the new smoother Snow Trooper outfits which are looking rather nifty.
Here we have JJ giving direction to Daisy Ridley as Rey flies her rather awesome and monstrous looking speeder through the a marketplace on Jakku.
Ahh, the people that make it happen. The legend that is John Williams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and of course the director & co-writer JJ Abrams. Notice the rather cool posters on the wall behind them at their LA office.
And the last photo – The cover shot for Vanity Fair – Han, Chewie, Rey, Finn and BB-8.
If all that wasn’t enough… How about a video!
First thing I should say, is this shouldn’t be confused with the SyFy TV show Continuum… Or the Stargate movie Stargate: Continuum. In fact the movie when it had it’s American cinema release was call ‘I’ll Follow You Down’, which i’ll admit, isn’t the best title, but it’s a damn sight less confusing. I’m sure the idea was to give the film a more scifi title, but they could have picked something that wasn’t already in use by 2 established tv franchises!
So, with that out of the way, back to the review…
The film stars follow the story of a married couple, Marika (Gillian Anderson – X-Files, The Fall) & Gabriel (Rufus Sewell – The Holiday, A Knight’s Tale), and their young son Erol (John Paul Ruttan – Robocop, Murdoch Mysteries). The family head to the airport to see off Gabriel to give a physics lecture at a conference, and all seems fine. That is until they come to pick him up a few day’s later, and he’s not on the plane, not answering his phone, and no one can find him. Skip forward 12 years, Erol has grown into The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment, and he’s managed for his life to continued on. However, Marika has never got over not knowing what happened to him, and has been battling depression over the loss. It’s not until Erol’s grandfather (Victor Garber – Alias, The Flash), who is also a physic’s professor, reveals he think’s he knows what happened to Erol’s father, and it relates to some ground breaking research Gabriel was working on… and that he might still be alive… Although to reach him, they may have to destroy everything they know, and change the past to bring him back.
If you’re looking for some big sci-fi epic, this really isn’t it. Although their are sci-fi elements to the story, the real focus here is on whether Erol is prepared to sacrifice everything to bring his father back. Writer/Director Richie Mehta has a fairly laid back style and produces a movie which is interesting, but could have done with a little more bite to it. The main plot points are somewhat predictable, and serve as a catalyst to push Erol towards finding his father. It might have been rather more interesting had he had to make more moral choices, rather than fate pushing him towards the inevitable goal. The cast give solid performances all around, and Osment in particular proves that he’s lost none of the skill that one him the Oscar nomination all those years ago.
For me it’s a film that’s solidly performed and directed, but could maybe have done with a little more tension and a little less predictable script. Not a bad movie, and worth watching if you’re a fan of the actors involved, or you’re looking for something to view on a Saturday night in.